Korean Media Composer Jaimee Jimin Park Inspired by Classical Music, Radiohead, Jazz, and K-Pop
“Jaimee, you draw like you compose. Such a delicate and breathtaking notice of details. I think that’s why your music is so visual and captures my soul. Thank you a million times for this art and for your music.” — Michal Marks, founder of A Muse Management
Born into a Korean family that diversely lives around the world from Sydney to London, Amsterdam, Milan, Buenos Aires, and New York to Los Angeles, Jaimee Jimin Park has a similarly diverse taste in music. The in-demand LA-based media composer-orchestrator originally majored in classical music. But she has now built up an impressively broad spectrum of credits, writing music for media such as films, TV shows, games, specifically including: composing or orchestrating music for films such as D.O.A., Blue Rosee, Rennee, Neurosynergy, Ditched and Salvation; “proofing” the scores (sheet music for big orchestras) for one of Hollywood’s legendary orchestrators Pete Anthony who himself has worked on Tenet (2020), Fantastic Beasts (2022), and Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022); and, among many other projects. creating commercial music for a McDonalds’ radio advertisement called McDrive which broadcast in Korea.
“Your piece of music is so good it actually made me cry. I can never thank you enough. You made this movie.” — D.O.A. director, Kurt Thomas
Working in these various media showcases her qualities, as she humbly suggests: “As a composer my biggest strength is in melody and harmonies. My own album, Nebulous, can be referenced to back it up. Also, as I focused on classical music from an early age, so orchestral music is something that I’m very familiar and comfortable with. However, if you listen to my album, I’m trying to broaden my horizons by trying out different, newer and electronic sounds. So, the sounds that combine both orchestral and electronic sound can be something I bring to the table for orchestrators, directors and producers.”
Indeed, with an interest in everything from classical music to rock, jazz and K-Pop music, Jaimee adds, “By absorbing a lot of different music and trying to understand each of them deeply, it’s all helped me diving into scoring for film and television music. Since it really requires you to feel comfortable with various genres.”
So, where did it all start? Jaimee grew up surrounded by melodies and harmonies in a musical family, where her uncle was a conductor of the leading choir in South Korea: “Both my parents both love classical music and they encouraged me to start playing the piano at the age of 3, and as I started composition at the age of 10, music was always just the part of my life, something very natural. But, my parents would have supported me even if I chose something other than music. My goal now is to keep doing and getting being better at what I like to do. And, if that leads me to something successful enough to make my parents proud, that’d be awesome.”
“I love your album, Nebulous. Beautiful and melancholy. And your choice of sounds is very evocative. I especially enjoyed ‘In a Hazel Daze’ and ‘On the Train’ but the whole album is special.” — Multi award-winning music composer Garry Schyman
As for her richly varied musical influences, she continues: “Because of my background and going to conservatory school after high school, I listened to a lot of classical music, from solo piano, small chamber ensemble to orchestra. But to my enjoyment, I found I was also crazy about British rock music, including Oasis and Radiohead. Then, in college I fell deeply in love with jazz, which is such a true American genre.”
Additionally, K-pop is a music genre that has has inspired Jaimee to arrange and orchestrate songs for small chamber and big string ensembles — for example, her orchestral cover of all-girl K-pop band, BLACKPINK, has earned over 100,000 views on YouTube.
“K-pop has become a truly global phenomenon thanks to its distinctive blend of addictive melodies, slick choreography and production values, and an endless parade of attractive South Korean performers who spend years learning to sing and dance in synchronized perfection.”
Jaimee was the arranger for The World of K-Pop Strings Op.1 (2021) featuring MamaMoo, a famous all-girl K-pop group. And, she’s created her own YouTube channel: “K-pop is a worldwide phenomenon, and arrangement albums are big projects in Korea. Those arrangements I did inspired me to create my channel, Symphony Park. and it helped me to practice orchestration, which has led to me working on films.”
Ironically, Jaimee sort of fell into a career of film composing when she saw the wonderful animated adventure film, How to Train Your Dragon, with her explaining: “The music of the film’s composer, John Powell, really encouraged me and I really admire him a lot. If I hadn’t heard his powerful music I wouldn’t have been interested in becoming a film composer. And as I keep studying film music, I became more and more motivated to keep pursuing this career, trying to find my own unique sound.”
Moreover, getting Master of Music degrees from both USC (in Screen Scoring) and from Seattle Film Institute (in Film Scoring) gave her insight into the new world she has found herself in: “Film music is very different from classical music in a sense that film music is not ‘independent’ music. It’s completed with the pictures that it scores. Both Masters’ programs helped me to understand the difference and how to make good film scores.”
As for the future, she remembers two pieces of counsel: Hollywood orchestrator Pete Anthony had advised “to keep finding joy in her work”; and, her mentor, TV/Film composer and USC Professor Lawrence Shragge, who calls her an “original,” always advises her to keep writing.
Ambitious but humble Jaimee adds: “I continue trying to write more music as well as scoring more films. I’d like to work on becoming a better composer, and keep on improving myself. But yes, it’d be a dream if I won an Oscar for the best scoring some great motion picture. In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing.”
Drop in on Jaimee Jimin Park’s website, her Symphony Park YouTube channel, and check out her work on IMDb, and her movie trailers. Here are links to her Instagram and to the platforms for her wonderful album, Nebulous.